Weekly Recap

Happy Weekend Everyone! This week the 3B class focused on Valentine's Day card making. The children put a lot of effort and work into creating special cards for their friends. The process included painting, decoding secret messages as well as coloring and writing. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in writing, spelling and tracing. We try to incorporate all of the literacy components daily. 

Worked on developing self-help and life skills...

Explored volcanoes through science, books and block building.

Community study: we visited the 2A class as we would like to learn more about them and their classroom. 

Weekly Recap

What a busy week in 3B! The days were full of science experiments, volcanoes, space, a trip to the library, and we are very happy to have been joined by our new friend Josephine, who already fits right in as though she has been with us the whole year. Josephine, welcome!

As many of you know already, volcanoes and space have virtually taken over the interests of 3B. This week we went on a field trip to the library to stock our bookshelves with titles regarding both volcanoes and space. The books have been well utilized since their arrival, and we are happy to announce that even more books will be coming from the library during the upcoming week.

Other ways 3B is taking the interest in these topics is by incorporating them into our morning messages. Each morning during circle time the 3B friends take turns practicing their letter recognition and letter tracing. Once all the letters have been traced, together we read the message which includes fun facts about volcanoes and space.  Another way we are taking these interests and incorporating them into our daily routine is by basing some science experiments around them. This week we made play-dough one day, and a couple days later, after much play-dough exploration, we used the play-dough to make volcanoes and then created lava and had the volcanoes erupt. Everybody had a great time.

We are looking forward to the many ways we can build on the interests in spacer and volcanoes going forward!

Weekly Recap

It was another busy week in the 3B classroom! This week we read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by: Carol McCloud. This wonderful little book is about the positive impact on both those around us, and ourselves, when we take a moment to be kind. The book made a quick impact on the class and we saw many examples of hugs, kind words and saying, “I love you.”, and sharing toys or extending invites to share in play activities. It is clear how much each of the children enjoy filling the buckets of their friends and teachers in 3B. We will continue to explore kindness (bucket fillers) in various ways moving forward, and to be on the lookout for bucket dipping. We are looking forward to seeing where the special attention to kindness and bucket filling lead us.

 

The focus on puzzles and strengthening building skills continued this week! The growth in the complexity of the structures in 3B has been very obvious lately. It continued this week, and we are happy to note that more and more of those in the class are being drawn to the act of constructing palaces, animal houses, and space structures than we have seen before. Building, designing, and configuring new and more dynamic ways to use the Magna-Tiles and blocks is evolving quickly, and it is very fun to watch.

Additionally, the fascination with putting together puzzles, both individually and through the utilization of teamwork, is still going strong in 3B. Two new, more complex puzzles arrived in the classroom this week and the class could not have been more eager to take on the challenge of putting them together. These were big puzzles that took much focus and diligence to complete. They were both put together multiple times throughout the week, often more than once in a single day. Sometimes there was frustration at the challenge at hand. However, that frustration was often worked through and followed by a great sense of accomplishment. What an exciting process to witness.

 

3B families, thank you for coming in to spend some time with the class and celebrate all the love and joy from your lives that finds its way into our classroom every day. The loving support, all the hugs and kisses, and all the silly games that make each family special were on display, and it is clear how wonderful and special each of our families are to all the friends in 3B. It is so nice to see how each of the children are so happy and excited when they have special grown-ups in the classroom to spend time with them, and all the rest of us. This is one reason we as teachers always enjoy having you in the classroom too. Your presence is always such a pleasure for all of us in 3B! Thank you again for such a great day on Friday, we all had such a nice morning with you.

Weekly Recap

It was a fun and busy week in 3B! We welcomed our new friend Joseph to the class. Welcome Joseph! Also, we welcomed Vivi back,  Elizabeth said on Monday, "I miss Vivi." We are all glad to have our 3B friends back together again!

Science projects have gained a lot of interest in our classroom of late, and we are very excited about this because there are so many great ones to explore. This week the class observed what happens with ice and salt and watercolor paints. This was fun and this was messy!

Coupling with the science experiments, there has been a lot of building and sorting with Magna-Tiles, exploring the world parquetry tiles (colored shape tiles), and putting puzzles together. More and more we are seeing the members of 3B initiating activities that stimulate their cognitive development. How fun!

3B is having so much fun in the dramatic play area lately. So often the friends are enjoying time playing family, superheroes ("Kind, friendly, gentle superheroes, right class?!"), or spending time "cooking" in the kitchen. There has been a significant rise in the amount time spent in this area lately. The class loves it! A special thanks to Kian and Elizabeth for bringing so many items to add to our dramatic play area this week. Thank you! We encourage all the 3B families to bring anything extra from home that they want to donate, so we can add even more imagination and diversity to our growing costumes and props collection. Thank you so much!

Weekly Recap

                                                                     Family

We all started this week with a great excitement!! Eveyone was very happy to see each other after the break and eager to share what they did for holidays with their family. 

Sam: "I went to Granny and Papi's house. My dad was driving. We took our car. I played with the dog. It's a friendly dog. We played basketball."

Valdi: "Do you have a dog?"

Sam: "It's a friendly dog. I went to Granny and Papi's house and I played with the dog."

                                                   Who is in your family?- math activity

Valdi: "Mommy, saddy, baby, my sister and me."

Teacher: "Can we count everyone?"

                                                 Our Rotten Pumpkin Science Project

As we came back from the break, the children relized that there is something happening to our pumpkin.

Teacher: "What do you think is happening to our pumpkin?"

Zara: "It's getting old (lloking at the mold)."

Luca: "It will get even older (possibly it will grow more mold?)"

Teacher: "And what do you think will happen when it gets even older?"

Valdi: "We have to throw it out."

Two days later: 

Kian: "Yuck!"

Teacher: "Why did you say yuck?"

Kian: "Look at the pumpkin!!!!!!"

Elizabeth: "I don't want to touch it."

Graydon: "But look Elizabeth, there are seeds inside!"

                                 Building community through dramatic play and fun games!

 

Happy Holidays 3B Families!!!

Thank you everybody for such an amazing first semester together! This has been a semester full of big growth for everybody in our class. We have seen so many moments of kindness and love and sharing, and we look forward to many more. This is a special class and we are so blessed to have all of you as a part of this 3B family. Have a wonderful, love-filled, restful break. Enjoy these holidays and the start to the new year! We will see you all in 2018! Big big hugs everybody! See you soon.

Valdi's Family Tradition and Another Wonderful Guest Reader

Here in 3B we have been so blessed to have such great family participation in sharing all of our family traditions. Today was another example of that as Valdi's mom came in and shared with the class a family tradition. The class got to learn about their family drive to Montreal every year at the holidays. We learned that they drive through mountains and forests which are very beautiful, and in Montreal they go to a great big mall with a real train in it. "Do you know who drives the train," Nadja asked the class. "Elves!" This got the children's attention, as there has been a lot of talk about elves in our classroom lately. After the train, there is always a nice visit with Santa, which we all got see a lovely family photo of. Next, Nadja read to the class! Of course, given Valdi's tremendous love of dinosaurs, she read us How do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? It was a wonderful experience for our class today! Thank you so much, Nadja, for coming and sharing today. It was great!

Sammy Almost Dances and a Secret Reader

Well, the sharing of 3B family traditions continues. Today Sammy shared with us his family tradition of their listening to favorite Christmas albums, with Sam dancing as his dad plays harmonica. The class tried to get Sam to show us some of his dance moves, but he did not indulge us. Maybe tomorrow, Sam? We hope so! In addition to Sam sharing with us, we had another special treat in 3B today. Luca's mom, Tina, was our secret reader. This was not much of a secret though, as Luca was very excited about it both today and Friday, and made several announcements to us all. Tina had the children (and teachers) captivated as she read Elf on the Shelf and The Incredible Book eating Boy. She did great! Thank you Sam and Tina for an amazing Monday in 3B!

Two Family Traditions and Two Special Guests in One Day!

Today was another full and exciting day in 3B. We had an excellent secret reader come in and read Polar Express to the whole class. She was amazing! Thanks Carmella! The sharing of our family traditions kept on as well.  We were fortunate to have one of Zara’s special adults come in and share with the whole class one of their traditions. Today we learned about Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, which was a great treat. In addition to that, the class learned about the Advent calendar, and how Kian, Elizabeth, and their family use this special calendar and count the days as Christmas approaches. We are learning so much everybody. This is a very special group! Thank you participants! And families, thank you again for last night, it was wonderful.

Happy Holidays 3B Families (And More Holiday Cheer to Come)!!!

What a beautiful start to the holiday season! Thank you so much for 3B families for making this such a special day for everybody involved. This was so much fun!

Graydon's Family Tradition

As 3B’s conversation about family continues, today we started talking about family traditions and what “tradition” means. Graydon said, “Tradition means you show what you brought, like to school.” Luca said tradition is “like getting a Christmas tree!” As with the family photos, the children are very excited to share with us the traditions of their own families. Each of them have begun bringing in the traditions discussed with you at home, and we are very very excited to hear all about them! Thank you 3B families for taking the time to help us with this wonderful project. Today, Graydon was the first in our class to share a family tradition.

Teacher: Graydon, can you tell us about the tradition that you brought in to share?

Graydon: (pointing to a drawing he made) Every year after Thanksgiving we get a visit from the elf, Gussy. Gussy comes to see how I am doing and goes back to tell Santa if I am being bad or good. He hides and we find him every day.

Teacher: Where did you find Gussy today?

Graydon: He was behind some cookies my mom took out, and he ate some of my cookies! (Graydon laughs at this).

Teacher: What? Is Gussy a good elf or a bad elf? What can you tell us about Gussy?

Graydon: Gussy is a good elf. Gussy is super nice. He would never be mean.

Kian: Why does Gussy eat your cookies?

Graydon: Because he’s so silly.

Luca: That’s not nice.

Graydon: He’s being silly.

Luca: Why’s he so silly?

Graydon: Because my mom told me that.

Many of the children were concerned about Gussy eating their friend’s cookies. Eventually Graydon was able to convince most of them that Gussy is a good elf.

What a great tradition to share with the class! Thank you Graydon and family. We all had a wonderful time hearing the first of the 3B family traditions today, and we are all looking very forward to the rest of them as well!

Vivi's Family Show and Tell

Last but not least today was Vivi’s turn to talk about her family. Vivi brought a family album to share with us. She took her time and introduced everyone in the picture.

Vivi: “So look, this is my mommy and daddy and me as a baby. That is me and Jamesy. That is my little brother. My mom takes care of us. My daddy too but he went on a trip today so I am going to miss him.

This is me and my mommy, this my Nanny (grandma) and Papi, this is Abby. That is my uncle. I have lots of uncles. This is my uncle and we are eating ice cream. “

Next, Vivi introduced us to the last picture with her mom, Abby and her aunts. Vivi’s friends were very eager to ask questions. Vivi picked Zara to go first:

Teacher: “What is special about your family?”

Vivi: “When we play together and when we eat chocolate.”

Zara: “ Who is that baby?”

Vivi: “That is me!” (Vivi laughed out loud).

Luca: “Why do you have daddy?”

Vivi: “Because I have mommy and daddy and they take care of me and Jamesy.”

Valdi: “Why do you have a big family?”

Vivi: “ Because… they have to take care of me and Jamesy.”

 

Kian and Elizabeth's Family Show and Tell

Just tiny sneak peaks into our day as the children continue working on gifts for their families…

Today it was Kian and Elisabeth’s turn to talk about their family. They were both very excited to tell us all about their cousins and aunts and uncles.  Kian was eager to talk about his aunts and uncles (on the picture) and Elizabeth wanted to talk about their cousins. 

 

Elizabeth: This is Awry, Jake, me and Kian. Awry is 8 (year old) and Jake is 3! Kian and me we are 2,5 year old. We are all cousins. We play and play and play! I want to pass it to Zara (she passes the picture to Zara).

 

Kian: He goes one at the time and tells everyone’s’ name (uncles and aunties/ I just could not catch up with writing everyone’s names). “There is Nana and my cousin. She is one.”

 

Zara: “Why do you have a big family?”

Elizabeth: “Because…I don’t know… because we love each other so much (and she hugs Kian).

Vivi: “ Do you play a lot with your cousins?”

Elizabeth: “ We run, jump and we had bubble gum machine.”

Graydon: “Why is your family so big?”

Elizabeth: “Because we wanted.”

 

 

Luca and Zara’s Family Shares!

Today we continued on with our family show-and-tells in 3B. Again the joy was evident as the children shared more pictures and more love regarding the wonderful families from our classroom. Today we saw pictures and heard some stories about both Luca and Zara’s families.

 

Teacher- Luca, what is your favorite thing to do with your family?

Luca – Go to the beach!

Teacher – What makes your family special?

Luca – When they come to school (and drop me off).

Teacher – (pointing to a picture) Who is this?

Luca – That’s Mel.

Teacher – What’s your favorite thing to do with Mel?

Luca – Play with her.

Teacher – (pointing to another picture) And, who is this?

Luca – My cousin Katie.

Teacher – What is special about her?

Luca – She carries me and we play.

 

Then it was Zara’s turn to share her family with us.

 

Teacher – (showing Zara a photograph) Zara, who are these people?

Zara – My family.

Teacher – What’s so special about your family?

Zara – Because we play together.

Teacher – What can you tell me about this picture?

Zara – This is what Emil looks like. And this is mommy. This is dada, he has dark skin. This is Remi, he has new PJs.

Teacher – What makes your family special?

Zara – They read me books.

Teacher – Anything else?

Zara – They let me have dessert. And my brothers.

 

Once again, the children were all smiles today as they shared with us their wonderful, loving families. It is a common theme in our room how happy the little things make everybody who shares with us. Friends asked those sharing questions about their families again today too, such as, Vivi asking Luca why Katie carries him? To which he responded immediately, "Because she loves me." Or, when Kina asked Zara, "Why do you have a mama?" Her response: "That's a family." The curiosity and family questioning continues in 3B. Another thing that is so nice to see, is that such potentially simple things, as playing with and being carried by those we care about, can provide the great big feelings of love our class repeatedly shares with us. 

In what ways do children represent family?

Throughout this past week we have learned a lot about ways that children can represent their concept of family. Our beginning explorations into the idea of family started with conversations with the children with questions:

-       What is a family?

-       Who is in your family?

-       What makes your family very special?

With these questions a whole new world opened up. The children eagerly shared their ideas verbally, through drawings as well as through play.

Each and every child represents family very differently and furthermore, when family is described through different learning languages, such as drawing or story telling, the same child may give two very different insights about their own ideas.

As we continue engaging in conversations revolving family show and tell, we continue hearing how important and unique each family is.  The uniqueness makes each family special and the family tradition homework will show the children that. All of these activities support children’s growth in understanding differences and yet allows everyone to enrich their knowledge about the world around them. And feelings are inseparable part of all of it.

We look forward to learn about all the ways that children can represent their concept of family.

 

P.S We are beginning to work on Holidays gifts for the families so our blog (pictures) might be limited to minimum, as we would like to keep it as a secret:). We will update the blog regarding our family study as well as all the other fun activities that 3B might engage in.

 

Graydon Shares his Loving Family

The family love continued in 3B today as Graydon excitedly shared photos of his family with the class. He was so excited and was all aglow as he spoke of his family.

 

Teacher - What is your favorite thing to do with your family?

Graydon - Give hugs and kisses.

Teacher - What makes your family very special?

Graydon - They make me very happy. By giving me hugs and kisses. My daddy is my best best friend! He loves me so much. My family does group hugs.

Teacher - (pointing to photo) Who is this?

Graydon - My mom. She loves me so much.

Teacher - (pointing to photo) Who is this?

Graydon - That's my sister Kennedy.

Once again, the love shared by the families in our class was overflowing today! Graydon was very excited to show the pictures of his family to the class, and the class enjoyed listening to Graydon as he shared, and also looking at all the pictures of them. It is clear how lucky our 3B class is to having such loving families around them.

A Proud Sam Talks about his Family

As we delve more and more into the the family aspect of the identity unit, it is abundantly clear how much love our 3B class has for their families. Sam today, was all smiles and excitement when it came time to share his family pictures with the class. It was such a joy to see the way he lit up as he talked about his family. 

Teacher  - (holding up a photo) Who is that?

Sam - She came out of my mommy's belly.

Teacher - What's her name?

Sam - That's Luiza. 

Teacher - (holding up a different photo) And, who are these people? 

Sam - Grammy and Grampy! They have a doggie!

Teacher - What's your favorite thing to do with them? 

Sam - Make a silly noise. (at this, Sam makes a very funny noise for the class with a great big smile on his face.)

All the friends in 3B enjoyed looking at the pictures of Sam and his family. It is wonderful to see how interested everybody is in family. A number of the children even busied themselves drawing pictures of their own families today with a teacher.